Many of us are controlled by our personal insecurities and triggered by the success of others. Our fear of inadequacy leaves us feeling shame and guides us down the path of gossip and complacency.
To make matters worse,we also experience an intrinsic psychological process called hedonic adaptation, which only adds to our clinging behavior. Hedonic adaptation, also known as the hedonic treadmill, is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. If we want to maximize happiness and push against this hedonic adaptation, gratitude is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal.
Gratitude begets gratitude. Practicing gratitude makes us feel more thankful. It is literally that simple. Cultivating gratitude is a skill. A daily gratitude list or thank you notes can do wonders for your mental health. The feelings elicited in those few minutes may seem trivial, but they act as a catalyst for a grateful mood.
According to Happier Human, "While in a grateful mood, we will feel gratitude more frequently, when we do feel gratitude it will be more intense and held for longer, and we will feel gratitude for more things at the same time. Gratitude triggers positive feedback loops. Gratitude reduces feelings of envy, makes our memories happier, lets us experience good feelings, and helps us bounce back from stress. After three months of practice, you can have the ability to self-generate slight feelings of gratitude and happiness on command. With more time and practice, the intensity and duration of the generated feelings will increase."
Daily gratitude practice can change our personality, but similar to mindfulness, that takes a long time. Don’t give up because the rewards are worth it!